FPOs, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship avenues for tribal villages

SRINAGAR: The Tribal Affairs Department has initiated the process to register Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) in villages selected to be developed as Milk Villages, Sheep farming Villages and other farm related enterprises. In first phase, more than 20 villages approved as Milk Villages are being taken up. Department has also mooted proposal for development of another 100 Milk Villages in coordination with Financial Institutions.
Skill Development in livestock product management, value addition and packaging as well as marketing is being initiated in coordination with various stakeholder organisations. In a series of consultations the department also worked out business model and financial support for establishment of dairy farms. Departments of Animal and Sheep Husbandry have also initiated process of developing a database of youth to undergo skilling courses.
The Agriculture Skill Council of India and J&K Tribal Affairs department discussed roadmap for skill development and employment generation in tribal areas being developed under recently initiated schemes of Milk Villages, Sheep Farms, Chilling Plants and other avenues. The courses available and area specific needs were also discussed in the meeting, which include dairy entrepreneurship, animal healthcare provider courses, organic farming, greenhouse operations, wool packaging and marketing etc. Focus was also laid on agriculture education in tribal villages.
Secretary, Tribal Affairs Department, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary and senior functionaries of Agriculture Skill Council of India Dr Satendra Arya and Dr Inderjeet Singh discussed the roadmap for skill development plan in tribal villages with special focus on milk villages and sheep farming villages apart from agriculture education aimed at improving tribal farmers’ income. He expressed gratitude to State Engagement Officer NSDC Kahkashan Anjum for vigorously taking up skilling of tribal farmers. It was discussed to initiate the skill development programme for selected villages during current calendar year.
The Agriculture Skill Council of India in coordination with farm universities and 13 empanelled Krishi Vigyan Kendras in J&K will offer skilling to tribal youth selected by Animal and Sheep Husbandry departments in villages being developed by tribal affairs department. A limited Expression of Interest will be initiated by the J&K Skill Development Mission for training of tribal youth in selected villages based on skill demand.
Director, Tribal Affairs Department has undertaken the process for model villages while Secretary, Advisory Board and District officers have been asked to register the FPOs in selected villages for initiating the process of skill development entrepreneurship and value addition. More than 100 villages under development as Cluster Model Villages and Milk Villages are being selected for skill development in Phase-I.

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